Letter to Bishop Djomo Expressing Solidarity with the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 3, 2013

Year Published
  • 2013
  • English

May 3, 2013

Most Reverend Nicolas Djomo Lola
Bishop of Tshumbe
President of CENCO
B.P. 3258
Democratic Republic of Congo

Dear Bishop Djomo:

At this time of continuing suffering and crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I write to reiterate the solidarity of the U.S. bishops with the Church and people of your country. Your tireless efforts, along with those of your brother bishops and the entire Church community, have long exemplified courageous leadership in the face of violent conflict. We send our ongoing prayers as innocent people in your country suffer and die at the hands of militias who control illegal mines, divide up your country and eliminate the rule of law.

Let me assure you that the U.S. bishops have welcomed a rule promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), implementing Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”). This rule ensures that investors have access to information essential to making socially responsible decisions and would help prevent armed groups from financing violence and human rights abuses by selling “Conflict Minerals.” The U.S. bishops, through USCCB, submitted official comments to the SEC supporting the rule. The rule is consistent with Catholic teaching on protection of human life and dignity. It takes into account the lived experience of the Church in your country and that of our colleagues at Catholic Relief Services and other development and relief agencies in the region. It also meets our concern of providing appropriate coverage of issuers and products, and insuring information submitted to the SEC is accurate, verifiable and easily available to investors and consumers.

The rule is being challenged in litigation currently before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, et al. No. 12-1422). The U.S. bishops join you and your brother bishops in the DRC, as well as certain amici curiae, in supporting the position taken by the SEC, that the court should uphold the validity of this rule in light of the moral and human consequences, as well as economic and political effects. The bishops of the DRC have our deepest respect for your many efforts to stop this violence, to address the root causes of the fighting, and to promote a just and sustainable resolution of the conflict.

Praying that God will continue to bless your work as pastors and peace builders, I remain

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Bishop of Des Moines
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace

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